Bismarck was not a German nationalist but a Prussian patriot. The aim of his policy was the extension and consolidation of Prussia and to this end he had to establish Prussian hegemony in Central Europe against Austria as his main rival. In 1866 and 1871 this was achieved by the foundation first of the Norddeutscher Bund and then of the Deutsche Reich. As it was based on the concept of the ‘lesser Germany’ solution of 1848, it was an ‘unfinished national state’ because it did not include all German-speaking people, especially not the German Austrians. Instead, it was in many respects a Greater Prussia. Prussia not only accounted for more than 50 per cent of the territory and population of Germany, but her dominant position was confirmed and further strengthened by the constitution of the Reich which, in its main parts, had been drafted by Bismarck himself.
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